A Birthday in the Woods

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Me in my element!

I am not sure if I am more surprised than horrified to have reached my mid 50s, as, being accident prone as I am, I never expected to go much more beyond 30, but here I am, safe and sound and quite healthy enjoying this milestone in a beautiful setting.

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There is always a side track, this is part of the deer ditch at Slindon Estate

I cannot get enough of the nearby woods and I keep going off at a tangent following the numerous tracks that criss-cross the forest, forever finding new and amazing things, whether they are natural or man-made.

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Amazing fungus grown on the base of a tree

 

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One of my readers and dear friend made a comment on my last week’s blog entry mentioning a ‘geocache’ hidden on the brick wall behind Lady Beaumont’s ‘seat’, which I now have discovered used to be a summer house or tea house.  I remembered reading about another blogger’s  geocaching experience a few years ago, which sounded like fun, so this comment pricked my interest and  I decided to go and investigate further.  For those who don’t know what geocaching is, it works a bit like a treasure hunt for the digital age following some co-ordinates, the objective being to find a geocache, a container with a log book in it and maybe some other trinkets. Obviously, this time I didn’t need the co-ordinates as I already knew the location (cheating, I know), but it was no less thrilling finding the sealed plastic box with instructions from the National Trust and records and messages from other geocache enthusiasts.  Items varied from beads to photographs and, although at the time I did not have anything on me to leave behind, I returned to the motorhome and grabbed one of my crocheted flowers and returned to the spot.  I signed and dated the log with a thank you message and put the box back where I found it.  I have now joined the Geocaching network and I hope to find more boxes in the area: another good reason to go exploring.  Thank you, Julia, if you are reading this.

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Oh, the excitement of finding my first ever geocache, snail and all! Thank you, Julia.
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Examining the contents of geocache
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A bit of history about the enigmatic structure
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And this is all that’s left now!  Can you guess where geocache was hidden?
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Some interesting trinkets and photos in the box
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Lots of messages from other geocache hunters inside and I added one of my crocheted flowers to go with mine
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Ready to be replaced in its secret place!

 

Wanting to find out more information about the villages around us, I bought the Warberton Parish News on my trip to the launderette last Friday morning and I amused myself reading about the goings-on of village life.  This article in particular made me laugh and I thought it would be worth sharing here:

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My birthday fell on Saturday and we had agreed to have a quiet family meal, that being Adonis, my son, Beano and I, but I also had a very pleasant visit from another dear friend who brought me some beautiful flowers and some pickles, chutney and jelly.  And we even had another unexpected visit from a couple of friends extending an invitation to dinner in the near future: I feel truly blessed.

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Back in the woods. I wonder what happened to this poor tree: hit by lightening, perhaps?

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Before dinner, my son and I took Beano for his walk and I was excited about showing him some of the hidden paths in the woods and the lovely tree tunnel I found earlier in the week, so low neither of us could fit underneath; not so bad for me as I am only short, but my son, being 1.85 metres tall (6 feet 1 inch), really had to bend double to go under and Adonis didn’t fare up very well either when I took him on Sunday morning prior to our visit to the pub.

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Happy memories of childhood
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Low oak tree canopy
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Not easy if you are tall!  Father and son at the entrance of tunnel

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The clearing at the end of the tunnel, ideal for a camping spot!
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A glimpse of Slindon College through a gap in the woods
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Better with the zoom lens

 

 

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Back at Slindon by duck pond, we found some peculiar colours and patterns on the water
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I was taken by the willow reflected on the green-patterned water

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When we were here back in May, we had gone for Sunday lunch at The George Inn at Eartham, just down the road, and Adonis had chosen the Roast Beef, which looked absolutely delicious and he praised highly, so I decided there and then that that would be my birthday treat and that’s exactly what we did.

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Pretty as a picture: The George Inn at Eartham, West Sussex
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The dining area at The George Inn

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Quirky salt and pepper shakers. Aren’t they great?

One cannot help but fall in love with the building itself on the outside and it is certainly inviting, but it is also beautiful on the inside and the real ales on offer are just as delicious as the food on the menu.  Needless to say I was delighted with my choice and I would certainly recommend it.  The portion was very generous, more than I could eat, and the size of that Yorkshire pudding on top of the slices of beef was a sight to behold.  It was served with roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and beetroot, all marvellous and delectable.  Sadly, I had no room left for a pudding: oh, the shame of it!

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A very happy birthday girl and her Sunday lunch
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Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, served with roast potatoes, carrots, cabbage and beetroot: delicious!

 


26 thoughts on “A Birthday in the Woods

  1. First of all I hope you have had a super birthday in your woodsy element. I have been on just one geocaching experience just after I got the app. I wonder if my grandchildren would enjoy exploring again with their gramsy! The woods looks lovely, dark, and deep, just like Robert Frost describes. Great post, Fatima!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again, Marian. I always value your input here. I am pretty sure your grandchildren will love exploring again: who can resist an adventure? And yes, the woods are amazing and full of life, colour, scent and sound. Funny, scent is the one thing you cannot capture in a photo or video.

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  2. Happy birthday! My mom turns 50 this year, and she’s not happy about it. Just six months ago, she was the youngest woman in any room while proudly touting her age. Now, she refers to herself as an old lady in a melancholic tone. It doesn’t help that my [step]dad is much younger than her!

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    1. Thank you, Alexis That is a very young mum you have! Mine was 41 when she had me! Anyway, age is in the mind and heart and I still have a young spirit. I can’t run like I used to, but I don’t want to either and I can still dance!!! 👍❤

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      1. Mom had me at 21 and planned. That was normal at her time in Jamaica. People believed in knocking the kids out early so you had time to relax before retirement, haha. Then when you get older they are old enough to take care of you. My generation doesn’t think of those things. The first person in my generation of the family only just became pregnant, also planned. She’s 29. All her friends have kids now, so I guess it’s baby fever.

        May it never infect me!

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      2. Women certainly had children a lot younger a few years ago and in some undeveloped countries teenage pregnancies are the norm. I am child number 8 and my mum had had 2 miscarriages between child 7 and me. She had 2 more after that: 10 in total! I think that’s why most of my siblings only had 1 or 2 children. They are hard work, especially if you don’t have your own family around to help, like in my case away from home.

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      3. Jamaica is a developing country and teen pregnancy is still a problem. I wouldn’t say it’s the norm though, and after hearing my friends’ stories about life in PA and IL, it sounds like some communities in those states have Jamaica beat. It still comes with a huge stigma in Jamaica and your school is unlikely to allow you to graduate if you get pregnant. Many/most churches will also have you sit at the back.

        My mom has only one child, but I am a replacement for a still birth. My biological father did enjoy straying from his marriage, bed but I know none of my siblings. He denied every last one, while financially supporting some of them in secret. My grandma has the most kids in the family I think. She has 4.

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      4. Wow! That is so sad about schools not allowing pregnant girls to graduate and the church forcing them to sit in the back. If that is not discrimination, I don’t know what is. This is the kind of thing that turned me against the Church and into an atheist. It just makes my blood boil. Hypocrites! 😠

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      5. Well, I do think some sanctions have to be in place to discourage teenagers from running wild. What I do find sad is that most of those sanctions fall on the girls, while the boys go through life without a blemish to their reputation.

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      6. Running wild? Failing in love and having sex when you are a tenager is not running wild, but the most natural thing in the world. It is the absence of contraception that is the problem here and the Church and school being backwards, intolerant and biased. I totally agree that if there are to be sanctions, then the fathers of these babies should be included too.

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      7. I wasn’t one of those teenagers in high school, so I can’t relate. Sexual education is important and I got that in Catholic school, so they did their due diligence, which is ironic considering the Catholic do not permit the use of contraceptives. 😂

        I didn’t lose my virginity until the last semester of community college, and that delay was entirely by choice. There was even a bet at my college amongst the boys for who would take my virginity (boys are stupid), and I had boyfriends before, even in high school. Just didn’t sleep with them, and naturally, that’s why those relationships ended. The one boyfriend who told me he who wait and actually meant it was the one who earned it. I’ve been on birth control since. I have a years supply sitting on the end table next to my bed as we speak! 🙃

        I strongly believe that if girls/women/boys/men are not in a position to handle the consequences of having sex, then they shouldn’t be having sex, especially if they have no idea or resources on how to protect themselves. Not everything natural is sensible.

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  3. The Catholic Church does allow contraception and it has done so for many years now, at least in Spain since the mid 80s. It is funny that when I first came to England to study at 18 in 1982, some neighbours thought I was coming to have an abortion, as that was illegal then. They wouldn’t believe I was coming to study, but, like you, I saved myself after so many of my girlfriends and 2 of my sisters got pregnant so young. I am surprised at you that you make it sound like having sex or getting pregnant young is a crime. It isn’t a crime at all; it is not ideal whilst still a teenager for obvious reasons and I believe in finishing an education, getting a job and a home first, but often it doesn’t work that way. Pregnant young girls already feel frightened and anxious enough and they must be helped to finish school at least, not shamed. I am not saying we should encourage it, but when it happens, as it has happened troughout the historules of mankind, we must help as a society. This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages.

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